By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Dave Thomas takes a look at the 2008 Jeep Liberty.
Hi, I'm Dave Thomas with cars.com. We're here with the 2008 Jeep Liberty.
Jeep Liberty is all new this year, and it goes from a very popular design you might be familiar with to something more in line with the rest of the Jeep lineup, like the Wrangler and the Commander. The old Liberty had a lot of fans, mainly because it was different from the rest of the Jeep lineup. The new Liberty certainly doesn't look any different than the rest of the Jeep lineup. In fact, it looks very similar to almost every other Jeep that's out there. They all share a similar boxy look. They all look like they came right out of World War II. And that's something that the brand is actually trying to do, but it might throw off some old fans. The old Liberty was one of the few remaining small SUVs that had a swing out tailgate and for '08 Jeep has improved on that feature. Now, it is a much more convenient lift up operation which, you know, you just have to have these days. The cargo is a little smaller than it used to be but not a noticeable amount. It has a secret under floor storage compartment. That's actually waterproof. And the rear seats fold down! The seats fold down the real easy flip of a tether there. But as you can see, if the front seat is anywhere reclined or pushed back, even the slightest degree, it is hard to put down. One feature we like to see in a new SUV these days are reclining back seats like these, so you get a little more reclined for your backseat passengers, which makes it a little more comfortable. It gives a little more headroom. Like in the old Liberty, you sit up straight. The dash is really flat. It's almost a 90 degree angle. This could be uncomfortable for some people, so this is why you go out and actually test drive cars before you buy them. Otherwise, you are sitting up high. This is a seat in its lowest position, and I'm pretty up high. There's plenty of head room, but like I said, you feel like you're riding high. And that's an SUV trademark that a lot of people like. The Liberty is actually very similar to the Dodge Nitro, another all-new SUV from the Chrysler group. Unfortunately for ours, a lot of the same cheaper interior elements, especially the bulky plastics on the dash on the doors that when you knock it, it just sounds echoey and hollow. There's also some flimsy stuff on the air conditioning vents. It's just one of those things that when you're driving and you touch it, you can actually feel it feel a little cheap, and that's not something you'd like to feel on the $26,000 SUV. It's 210 horsepower. It's adequate. It's good on the highway. It won't blow the doors off of a muscle car next to you from the stoplight, but it does the job. It doesn't get the greatest gas mileage. And that's why if you're looking just for a cute Ute to run around town, you might not need all this off-road capability. Delivery has gone from a stylish, cute Ute to a more brutish SUV and old fans might be turned off, but Jeep's hoping a lot of new customers come in, like the look, like the new features, and are happy that the price has remained relatively unchanged. <v Narrator>For additional information on this car, or any other, go to cars.com and our blog, KickingTires.
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